September 14, 2016 by Terrance Biggs
The response to the series of GDFL article is considerably mixed. Some are enthralled by it, others disgusted. Honestly, I am not here for praise or condemnation. My aim remains the same. The truth about needs surface about the internal operations of leagues. Why is this important? At 42, I am sick and tired of attending or hearing about retired players in rough shape (mentally or physically broken) who were promised a myriad of benefits by local semipro coaches. These players played for the financial enrichment of terrible coaches and leagues. Football careers absorb a small parts of peoples’ lives, yet the effects are permanent.
Manipulation: Players sacrifice their bodies, whether for love of the sport or a chance at getting paid. If you give honest effort, the league you play in should also be above board. During my tenure in the GDFL, two cases of peculiar situations arose, causing me to view the management a bit differently.
Playoffs: The first screenshot is the game by game record of the River City Tribe, a first-year team from Chattanooga, TN. The second is how the GDFL determines playoff eligibility. This spells out everything you need to know about the process.
Look closely, they defeated the Georgia Chargers twice. Each team finished with identical 5-3 records. So, the Tribe was playoff bound? Wrong. The league decided to disqualify the Tribe for non-compliance. Their crime? River City owed 250 dollars to the league. Guess who made the playoffs? The Georgia Chargers did. Was this remaining balance a new development? Even if it were, could the league not roll over the money to next year, or was that 250 dollars crucial?
This screenshot are the words of a River City official, confirming the story. 250 dollars is no reason to prevent a team from a trip to the playoffs, which they rightfully earned. Actions like that give this level of football a bad name. Players were essentially told that their eight week fight for the postseason was not worth 250 dollars.
The next screenshot is Charles Thompson. He and River City executives appeared to have a falling out, prompting hurt feelings. Thompson suggested that I’d take to the league page to heavily criticize the owner. It’s funny, because later on, I was chastised for asking too many tough questions.
Bottom line: Players worked all season for nothing, not really developing anyone
Early in the season, I was asked to construct a ranking system. This poll was strictly my opinion and held no official bearing on playoff seeding. By the time Week Four rolled around, the Vipers owned three victories over Top 10 teams, while the Storm didn’t. I moved the Storm down to two and the Vipers to one. Thompson was not a fan of this and ordered me to change it. Why did it matter so much? The first screenshot features him asking me to fix the rankings. What CEO asks this? Part of his reasoning was that since Nashville beat the Columbus Fire in an exhibition game that they should be ranked number. Exhibition games do not count. This looks like the GDFL administration trying to influence power rankings and ultimately choosing which team plays in the playoffs.
Click on the link.
The league is not as large as it seems. This graphic is proof. This is from September 13, 2016 at 11:30pm. The Bulls, Dynasty, Flashers, Night Train and Wolfpack did not play a single game in the GDFL this year. The Titans, Gators, Marshals, Knights and Raiders did. Where are they on the banner of 2016 teams? The Kansas City Marshals played in the GDFL in 2016 and vanishes from the standings. http://www.gdfl.org/stats/standings The Fort Worth Wranglers did not play a single down of GDFL football, yet teams were awarded four victories over them via forfeit. The Blue Ridge Raiders played three actual games, and left the league midseason.
He attempts to separate the fact that he is not only the league owner, but the head coach of the Memphis Blast. Up until this point, I thought everyone knew. By not getting in front of this publicly, the alledged secrecy lends itself to people thinking something weird is occurring. It also serves as an insult to his players and coaches. Other teams will line up to claim the Blast get preferential treatment based on who they play for, which diminishes their hard work. Memphis’ defensive coordinator is ready to assume the head coach role.
Takeaway: If the GDFL is what Thompson believes it is, why put your finger on the scale? One person, running a league of this size should not control a team. This is a raging conflict of interest.